Dear November Project,
“This is our day.”
These were the first words #SamHam said to me this morning when we woke up a shade past 5 AM. We stared at each other in the dark, from opposite sides of our tiny Hoboken apartment, with blurry eyes and messy hair — our standard pre-dawn looks.
“Lucky us,” I said, with more than a hint of sarcasm.
With that, we started to get ready — get ready to bear the brutal 19-degrees-but-feels-like-negative-9-degrees temps, shimmy into our fleece-lined tights, consider throwing on a third pair of socks, and grab all the supplies and surprises we needed to lead this morning’s Valentine’s Day themed #NP_NYC workout.
When John and Paul asked us to babysit the tribe (because they finally had enough of this East coast winter), we got butterflies in our stomachs, our hearts skipped a beat, and our palms got sweaty, but we ultimately accepted their proposal.
We chose the tried and true Madison Square Park as the location (mostly because it would be away from the cold AF waterfront and only a one-block commute from the train). But upon inspecting an aerial shot of the park on Google Maps (and after discovering THIS TERRIFYING CREATURE), we saw the inspiration for the workout.
We started this morning’s workout with an extra cozy, cuddly bounce and a Samantha Rose Hamill original riff entitled “Roses Are Red. Now Let’s #FuckYeah.” From there, the tribe separated into four groups and followed their friends, lovers, and secret crushes through the heart-shaped series of full eye-contact hoistees, “I dip, you dip, we dip” dips, burpees, “love taps” (a warmer, fuzzier partner side plank variation), and some super sexy “Tinder swipes” (AKA skaters). All groups converged at the “Cupid Shuffle” station and showed off their best dance moves to the best loves songs of all time, including “BedRock” by Young Money.
But that wasn’t enough for these New Yorkers. We totally turned up the heat with a mini loop burnout run challenge starting with a set of five #POW jumps, in honor of our favorite bearded birthday dude. Congratulations to the 12 handsome devils who made it to the final rounds and to fellow babysitter Jason Kulig on his winning prize of pretty flowers and mystery flavored Fun Dip.
The energy this morning was incredible and there was even more NP love in the air than usual. Valentine’s Day can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Whether you think it’s just a stupid, sugar-coated Hallmark holiday, or you enjoy a romantic evening in Boner Town (population: Jeanie) with your #1 BAE, or you see it as a time to celebrate with your single GALentines (I can’t believe I just used that word. #burnbook), Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to tell all the people you love how you feel, or simply remind them how grateful you are to have them in your life.
With that, I’d like to take a moment to spread the love to some truly special people.
- To Sam: “Her name is Sam! She is a ham!” Not really. Sam is one of the most charming, level-headed, genuine people I have ever known. She’s so much more than a kickass roommate and loyal friend. I mean, she claims she actually “likes” doing the dishes. #LIES. She is the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, the mac to my cheese. She’s a sister who knows my heart better than most ever will. It was a real honor to combine our creativity for this magical morning.
- To Paul and John: Thank you for entrusting two girls from JERSEY to lead a NEW YORK tribe. What the hell were you thinking? What the hell were you thinking when you started this NP thing in the first place? Leading these workouts is NO JOKE. But you two do it, flawlessly, week after week through all sorts of weather. Shame on me for goofing off during your workout instructions for nearly two years now. Is it too late now to say I’m sorry? Come back soon. Despite all the fun this week, we really do miss you. XO
- To all of the birthday girls and boys. Because birthdays are the best, right? And man, we had some major birthdays to celebrate today — from Evan “BOOM!” Burton and Matt “#POW!” Powers to Rob “POP!” McCombs and Erica “ZAP!” Silbiger. We hope all your wishes come true this year!
- To three bad Bs. To Brian Hsia, Ben Gross, and my #NP_GodMama Sara Beaney, thank you so, so, so much for risking frostbite fingers this morning to capture so many amazing moments with your cameras. You three are beyond talented and give us the incomparable gift of safeguarding our memories (usually capturing our best angles) for years to come.
- To #NP_NYC. For me, this morning was a really special glimpse into our tribe as a whole. As much as I love running, burpeeing (NOT), ninja-kicking, and dancing with you all a few times a week, I REALLY enjoyed watching you today.
It made me think of my grandmother. (Hang with me on this comparison for a second.) As many of you know, I have a big family and my Mom Mom (who happens to turn 96 this weekend!) is a gem. She’s a real pistol, but she’s certainly slowed down with age. I vividly recall sitting with her a few years back at a big family dinner. Everyone was yelling over each other, fighting for their turn in the spotlight, and Mom Mom just sat there, unusually quiet. I turned to ask her if everything was ok, and she said, “You know, sometimes I just like to sit back and watch.”
And that’s what I did today. I enjoyed the show that our crazy cast of characters has perfected. Watching you move around our park today made my heart sing and I can’t thank you enough for letting me witness such a powerful sight. November Project isn’t about the leaders or any individual person. It’s not about who is the fastest or who brings up the rear (#ILIKEURBUTT). It’s about all of us as a collective and everything that exists in the wee hours of Wednesday and Friday mornings is ours to be shared.
Sam was right. (I told you she was the brains of this duo.) This was OUR day. This IS our day. Every day we can wake up with blurry eyes and messy hair to come together, to bounce together, to sweat together, to hug together, and to love together IS. OUR. DAY.
Lucky us, indeed.
P.S. We didn’t forget about the rest of the November Project #Talk30toMe tribes in our love fest this morning either. Here’s our #NP_NYC Valentine to you!